There’s a new restaurant championing Filipino cuisine in New York

Gugu Room is dubbed as ‘New York’s first Filipino-Japanese izakaya’

Filipino food continues to make a solid impact in New York and that’s all thanks to the chefs and restaurants that continue to champion the cuisine. The latest to do just that is Gugu Room as it serves Pinoy flavors matched with Japanese food heritage.

Photos from @guguroomnyc /Instagram

Opened last May 18, the Gugu Room is under the culinary leadership of chef Aris Tuazon and chef Markee Manaloto. Located on the Lower East Side, the previous spot of Filipino food spot Tsismis, the Filipino-Japanese restaurant welcomes diners to a space inspired by Dr. Jose Rizal and his past romance.

Gugu, the restaurant’s name, is hailed from an urban slang pertaining to “object of affection.” “Gugu Room is inspired by Jose Rizal’s two-month romance with O-Sei San, a samurai’s daughter, during his quick stint in Tokyo before heading to Manhattan in 1888,” the restaurant wrote on its website. “The space exudes a romantic, mysterious, and uninhibited feeling such as their short-lived love affair.”

With a goal of “combining the flavors of traditional Japanese and Filipino cuisine,” Gugu Room offers eats and sips that celebrate both Asian culinary heritage. Filipinos in the Big Apple will definitely find many familiar dishes on its menu, but with a Japanese twist. Among its top meals are the bulalo and udon fusion, Robata Kushiyaki featuring grilled skewers made with its Filipino-inspired in-house sauces, and lengua gyutan (meaning tongue in Japanese) cooked in rich white mushroom sauce.

As for the beverages, there’s the Rizal Highball, which is made of Peak Japanese whisky, lemon, lychee, ginger liqueur, and soda. Hailed from famous novels by Rizal are the El Fili Daiquiri (Tanduay Gold Rum, Gina Mango, Yuzu Kosho , calamansi juice ) and the Nori Me Tangere Negroni (135 East Japanese Gin Infused with Nori, Campari, Carpano Antica Vermouth, and Fernet). A true celebration of Filipino flavor is the Langka & Lemongrass, a humble drink highlighting the taste of Lemongrass Shochu, langka (Jackfruit), and lemon Juice.

Visit @guguroomnyc on Instagram to know more about the restaurant.

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